G. Cecconi1*, E. Tassinato2, L. di Prinzio3, A. Adami4

1 Wigwam Venice Resilience Lab; 2 Wigwam Circuit; 3 Associazione Veras; 4 Università di Padova.

*corresponding author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Co-management is a participatory and inclusive approach to building adaptation capacity and promoting well-being in delta communities, facing the complex challenges of mass tourism and migrant pressure due to climate change and social transformations. Here we comment on some recent attempts of addressing the unique challenges and opportunities of the Venice highly polycentric coastal community. Starting from the need to increase the socio-ecological and cultural adaptation capacity of people of the Venice Lagoon we are performing bottom-up activities that we want to scale-up: direct stakeholder Engagement; comprehensive assessment of the community needs, assets, visions related to climate, sanitary, and social transformations; integration of local culture, expertise, and traditional practice opinion leaders (food, cooking, art, artisan, fishing, hunting, horticulture, foraging, wild and social explorations) into the planning and practice; sustainable education, exploration and practice for active tourists and visitors; totally inclusive practise from the needs and perspectives of visitors, migrants, and residents for empowering and involving the most active members of the community.

To ensure that our strategies can survive and have a rapid development improving adaptation capacities we are taking advantage on valuing and incorporating local community culture and experience, but it is not enough: the main limit to that is the lack of a profit management in non-profit organizations, limiting our action in time and space with the main consequences of not delivering job creations and economic development. Only with an external control and result related funding, it will be possible to behave as a profit organization, monitoring and evaluating results of the implementation process and ensure that the desired outcomes are being achieved. At the moment we are trying to bridge with the governmental and private companies, in charge of the top-down Venice Safeguard solutions: the coastal protection, the Mose storm surge barriers, urban restoration and environmental restoration with naturally based solutions, by means of: -Participating to EU funded, University driven, co-productions: Contratto di area umida della laguna Nord, and other EU projects, such as Rest-Coast. - Working together with non- profit org, such as Venice Calls, Wigwam Circuits, Veras, Associazione Risorse Vitali, for orchestrating generative networks of bottom-up activities surfing the mass tourism for promoting local cultural, food, energy in the highly visible Venice arena. Human networking and well-being will be part of the next Local Exotic project of the Venice Biennial Design called Acclimatation gardens: lagoon explorations for residents, students, pensioners, tourists, visitors, and migrants.

Results: The new transition and integrations of traditional coastal engineering with nature-based solutions can bring successful results specially in Venice, "the oldest city of the future" if we increase community engagement and empowerment. In this regard Sea level rise scenarios, and sensible communication can help in triggering unexpected opportunities (Fig.1 affordable houses, job opportunities, sustainable transports, fresh water, energy, local food, better living with water and nature).


Figure 1: Total Inclusive Community Approach to rapid sea level rise in Venice can trigger the anticipation of futures: e.g. A regulated coastal lake around Venice with new opportunities: 30km new littoral with multi-purpose dike: city park, mobility hub, fishing harbours, aquaculture, marinas, local food agriculture, affordable housing, tidal and solar energy, pumps controlingl max-min water level, clear swimmable water in a '700 hundred Venetian landscape as painted by Canaletto.


Cecconi G. 2017, "Learning and Building with Nature" , 2017. Contratto di area Umida per la Laguna Nord di Venezia, 2022. http://www.wigwam.it/ Wigwam_Venice resilience Lab, 2023. Associazione Veras, 2023. https://www.mosevenezia.eu/

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